Cultural exponent Muriwai Ihakara passes away

Former Te Tumu Whakahaere Māori of Creative New Zealand will be remembered for his contributions to Te ao Māori as a composer, performer, teacher and long-time proponent of Toi Māori and Te Reo Māori.

Muriwai Ihakara
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Muriwai Ihakara(Te Arawa, Ngāti Kuri, Ngāti Porou) was well known for his humble leadership, knowledge, skills, and teachings. While his passion for and expertise in kapa haka is most widely known, he also worked tirelessly as a leader and behind the scenes in the role of Chair or Board member of multiple organisations.

Muriwai worked for Creative New Zealand from 2002 to 2016 as Te Tumu Whakahaere Māori, where he was highly respected for his in-depth knowledge of Toi Māori (Arts) and Tīkanga Māori (customary systems of culture and practise).

“The significant legacy Muriwai has left behind, alongside the mātauranga Māori that he’s passed on, will continue to benefit future generations of Māori to come.” said Kiritapu Allen, Minister for Culture and Heritage.

A respected kaumatua of Ngāti Pikiao he was a former Chair of Te Kura o Rotoiti, Chair of Ngāti Pikiao Ahurei, and Chair of Pūkenga Kōeke o Ngāti Pikiao. He shared his passion as a performer of Kapa Haka and led Te Hikuwai at Matatini in 2017. He was also a Head Judge for numerous Matatini Festivals.

Muriwai was also a former Chair of the Wellington Māori Cultural Society and Chair of Te Awhe Marae at Maketu. He represented Te Arawa on the board of Te Mātāwai.

An active supporter of marae throughout Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Makino, and other areas. He was instrumental in the re-establishment of Te Hautapu Umukohukohu Whetū, the Matariki traditions within Ngāti Pikiao.

Kia whakamau koe ki ngā whetū o te rangi, e whakakau mai rā i te tara ki Matawhau, ko Rehua koe, haere, haere, haere atu rā

To listen to the 1988 Te Huinga Waka performance of Tukua Ahau and other compositions by Muriwai Ihakara visit Nga Taonga 

Niki Partsch